Today's poem is by Lesley Jenike
Three's Brainchild Is
Made from hope's detritus, the stuff of wisdom but wider,
wide enough for a hand to slide through. There's a cut,
after-all, in this baby's skull. I can reach in and pulse
the mind manually: No thought except the one I give you.
Made from the mechanics of a subway train or dormer;
the fever that once flushed your cheeks I held like chicks
at some farm I can't remember, where rills in the land ran
down to woods rumored to transform the ringlet to risk.
Made from a river. I nearly drowned and so had a near-
death experience in which you reached from the future
a hand down to extract me like a tooth from the mouth
of my own loneliness. I like you. Likewise, you replied.
Made from a chessboard's warp and woof. I can't play
but I adorn the bishops, the queens. They are history but
sometimes marble, sometimes plastic, so easy to move
over the hoard that's your body where war is good.
Made from cheval glass so I may tilt myself to look in
at you behind my face. This fact remains: chiaroscuro
is also called claire-obscure and so night's imprecision
casts its shade across me to make someone new: you.
Made from the city's clarion call that is a clasp knife,
spring-loaded, released in my pocket as I stride beside
danger. Fear can put a mother's mind at ease and power
can transfer, like money, from one account to another.
Made from the click beetle or the skipjack depending
on the lexicon I give you. You did Dada back when
Dada was only a scatological dream. With your honest
palms you made love to sculpture. I chose the medium.
Made of megillah. You're an Old Testament heroine,
depression never stopping you from doing god's will
and I'm your god, though young and sadly subject to
Imagination's singing mesmerism: look deep into-
Made of my womb's long-playing record. Listen to
its big black forest. Even the crickets are desperate.
So rest instead in my brain's bower. Crown yourself
with blossoms growing according to size and color.
Made of the Lord of Misrule's mantle, seersucker
and so impossible to wrinkle. My logic is many-
valued. True or false is negotiable. Over dinner we'll
discuss nuance, then after, much later, I'll cradle you.
Made Of maraschino cherry, with only a tongue I can
put a knot in your stem and that's sexy, very un-
motherly. But his is a world in which the marcel may
appear on any head anywhere though it's not 1920.
Made of thanatos. That's why I bore you initially,
so I'd recognize, on-screen, me in you, performing
the original sin which is the manipulation of time
and space. Incase you're reading this after I'm dead:
we're made of the enzootic. We're all best left
in our exact jungle or specific neighborhood
stumbling erratum stuck in the revolving door
of this life. Script doctor daughter, make it better.
Made of scullion or scupper, whatever is dreck or
close to the water, you're the kid I hoped for: quiet
till I say go. Then you row our golden barge across
the Nile. On Cleopatra's Needle I prick my finger.
Copyright © 2007 Lesley Jenike All rights reserved
from Brooklyn Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
Support Verse Daily
Sponsor Verse Daily!
Web Monthly Features
About Verse Daily
Submit to Verse Daily
Publications Noted & Received
Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 Verse Daily
All Rights Reserved
Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 Verse Daily All Rights Reserved